Former Trump campaign advisor denies contact with WikiLeaks founder

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Former campaign advisor to President Donald Trump and South Florida resident Roger Stone said he refutes a Washington Post report that he made contact with WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange.

7News cameras captured the controversial figure shortly after touching down at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport from a trip to New York, Tuesday.

“I’m like the proverbial bad penny. I just keep popping up,” he said.

According to a Washington Post report, two Stone associates made claims regarding Assange and Stone’s meeting.

Stone denied the claims. “Look, it’s demonstrably false that I went to London and met with Julian Assange in 2016,” he said.

When asked whether has spoken with Assange by phone, Stone replied, “I’ve never spoken to him. I have never met with him. I have never emailed with him.”

But an unnamed source told the Post that Stone did have conversations with Assange before WikiLeaks leaked embarrassing, damaging Democratic emails during the presidential campaign.

Trump associate Sam Nunberg, one of the sources, told the Post that Stone had told him he met with the WikiLeaks founder in 2016

But Stone said Nunberg did not understand that he was joking about a meeting with Assange.

“Obviously, Sam can’t take a joke.” said Stone. “Very clearly, one Friday, when I was trying to get him off the phone – because he would call relentlessly – he asked me if I had plans for the weekend, and I said, ‘Yes, I’m going to fly to London and have dinner with Julian Assange.’ It was a throwaway line, a joke, not serious.”

Speaking with CNN, Nunberg said he believes Stone is a subject in the special counsel’s investigation into Russian collusion.

“I think it’s pretty obvious that they’re asking me about Roger Stone and Julian Assange,” said Nunberg. “He’s certainly – there’s a distinction between being a subject and target – at the very least, he’s a subject.”

When asked why Nunberg make the allegation, Stone said, “Because Sam is a yenta and a gossip, and he evidently took it the wrong way. But it is demonstrably false.”

Stone indicated he had no prior knowledge of WikiLeaks publishing hacked emails aimed at embarrassing Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Despite all the scrutiny he is facing, Stone said he and Trump remain friendly.

When asked how frequently the two are in contact, Stone said, “From time to time … I don’t want to characterize beyond that. It’s been a while. But I think he is doing a great job.”

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